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Sydney Opera House, Australia
Information about Sydney Opera House, AustraliaThe Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre on Bennelong Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who in 2003 (14 years ago) received the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour. The citation stated
“ There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image (wallpaper) of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent. ”
The Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 Jun. 2007 (10 years ago). It is one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world.
The Sydney Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the north-eastern tip of the Sydney central business district (the CBD), surrounded on three sides by the harbour (Sydney Cove and Farm Cove), and neighboured by the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Contrary to its name, the building houses several separate venues rather than a single opera theatre, the two main venues, the Opera Theatre and the Concert Hall, being housed in the two larger shells. The Sydney Opera House is a major presenting venue for Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony, as well as hosting many touring productions in a variety of performance genres, and is a major tourist attraction. It is administered by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.
DescriptionThe Sydney Opera House is a modern expressionist design,with a series of large precast concrete 'shells', each composed of sections of a hemisphere of the same radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres) of land, and is 183 metres (605 ft) long and 120 metres (388 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 metres below sea level. Its power supply is equivalent to that of a town of 25,000 people, and is distributed by 645 kilometres (401 miles) of electrical cable.
The roofs of the House are covered in a subtle chevron pattern with 1,056,006 glossy white and matte cream colored Swedish-made tiles from Höganäs AB, though from a distance the shells appear a uniform white. Despite the tiles' self-cleaning nature, they do require periodic maintenance and replacement.
The Concert Hall is located within the western group of shells, the Opera Theatre within the eastern group. The scale of the shells was chosen to reflect the internal height requirements, with low entrance spaces, rising over the seating areas and up to the high stage towers. The minor venues (Drama Theatre, Playhouse, and The Studio) are located beneath the Concert Hall, as part of the western shell group. A much smaller group of shells set to one side of the Monumental Steps houses the Bennelong Restaurant. Although the roof structures of the Sydney Opera House are commonly referred to as shells (as they are in this article), they are in fact not shells in a strictly structural sense, but are instead precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs.
Apart from the tile of the shells, and the glass curtain walls of the foyer spaces, the building's exterior is largely clad with aggregate panels composed of pink granite quarried in Tarana. Significant interior surface treatments also include off-form concrete, Australian white birch plywood supplied from Wauchope in northern New South Wales, and brush box glulam.
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